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World leaders' usage of Twitter in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: a content analysis.
J Public Health (Oxf). 2020 Aug 18; 42(3):510-516.JP

Abstract

BACKGROUND

It is crucial that world leaders mount effective public health measures in response to COVID-19. Twitter may represent a powerful tool to help achieve this. Here, we explore the role of Twitter as used by Group of Seven (G7) world leaders in response to COVID-19.

METHODS

This was a qualitative study with content analysis. Inclusion criteria were as follows: viral tweets from G7 world leaders, attracting a minimum of 500 'likes'; keywords 'COVID-19' or 'coronavirus'; search dates 17 November 2019 to 17 March 2020. We performed content analysis to categorize tweets into appropriate themes and analyzed associated Twitter data.

RESULTS

Eight out of nine (88.9%) G7 world leaders had verified and active Twitter accounts, with a total following of 85.7 million users. Out of a total 203 viral tweets, 166 (82.8%) were classified as 'Informative', of which 48 (28.6%) had weblinks to government-based sources, while 19 (9.4%) were 'Morale-boosting' and 14 (6.9%) were 'Political'. Numbers of followers and viral tweets were not strictly related.

CONCLUSIONS

Twitter may represent a powerful tool for world leaders to rapidly communicate public health information with citizens. We would urge general caution when using Twitter for health information, with a preference for tweets containing official government-based information sources.

Authors+Show Affiliations

The University of Leicester Ulverscroft Eye Unit, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building, PO Box 65, Leicester LE2 7LX, UK. Clinical and Academic Department of Ophthalmology, Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London WC1N 3JH, UK.Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, School of Population Health and Environmental Sciences, King's College London, 4th Floor, Addison House, Guy's Campus, London SE1 1UL, UK.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32309854

Citation

Rufai, Sohaib R., and Catey Bunce. "World Leaders' Usage of Twitter in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: a Content Analysis." Journal of Public Health (Oxford, England), vol. 42, no. 3, 2020, pp. 510-516.
Rufai SR, Bunce C. World leaders' usage of Twitter in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: a content analysis. J Public Health (Oxf). 2020;42(3):510-516.
Rufai, S. R., & Bunce, C. (2020). World leaders' usage of Twitter in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: a content analysis. Journal of Public Health (Oxford, England), 42(3), 510-516. https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdaa049
Rufai SR, Bunce C. World Leaders' Usage of Twitter in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: a Content Analysis. J Public Health (Oxf). 2020 Aug 18;42(3):510-516. PubMed PMID: 32309854.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - World leaders' usage of Twitter in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: a content analysis. AU - Rufai,Sohaib R, AU - Bunce,Catey, PY - 2020/03/27/received PY - 2020/03/27/revised PY - 2020/03/30/accepted PY - 2020/4/21/pubmed PY - 2020/9/1/medline PY - 2020/4/21/entrez KW - COVID-19 KW - Twitter KW - World leaders KW - communicable diseases KW - public health KW - social media SP - 510 EP - 516 JF - Journal of public health (Oxford, England) JO - J Public Health (Oxf) VL - 42 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: It is crucial that world leaders mount effective public health measures in response to COVID-19. Twitter may represent a powerful tool to help achieve this. Here, we explore the role of Twitter as used by Group of Seven (G7) world leaders in response to COVID-19. METHODS: This was a qualitative study with content analysis. Inclusion criteria were as follows: viral tweets from G7 world leaders, attracting a minimum of 500 'likes'; keywords 'COVID-19' or 'coronavirus'; search dates 17 November 2019 to 17 March 2020. We performed content analysis to categorize tweets into appropriate themes and analyzed associated Twitter data. RESULTS: Eight out of nine (88.9%) G7 world leaders had verified and active Twitter accounts, with a total following of 85.7 million users. Out of a total 203 viral tweets, 166 (82.8%) were classified as 'Informative', of which 48 (28.6%) had weblinks to government-based sources, while 19 (9.4%) were 'Morale-boosting' and 14 (6.9%) were 'Political'. Numbers of followers and viral tweets were not strictly related. CONCLUSIONS: Twitter may represent a powerful tool for world leaders to rapidly communicate public health information with citizens. We would urge general caution when using Twitter for health information, with a preference for tweets containing official government-based information sources. SN - 1741-3850 UR - https://news.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32309854/World_leaders'_usage_of_Twitter_in_response_to_the_COVID_19_pandemic:_a_content_analysis_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/jpubhealth/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/pubmed/fdaa049 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -